Divine Mercy Sunday: Meet the Zamoras

04-06-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

Today, we celebrate the feast of the Divine Mercy, and as we do so, we do it on the backdrop of an even-greater solemnity, the solemnity of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We began the celebration of this momentous event in our Church with many blessings. At the vigil Mass we welcomed into our Church 23 new members 11 of who received baptism while the rest received the sacraments of Confirmation and first Holy Communion along with them. This was followed shortly after Mass, by the convalidation of the marriages for two of our couples in the Church.

What a joyful night, what a night of many blessings for us! These blessings continued flow on Easter Sunday itself, with the rains that welcomed the resurrection of our Lord. It was very heartwarming to see our Church and Hall filled to capacity for the different Masses despite the rain. May the blessings of the risen Lord continue to sustain us and bring us and our loved ones ever closer to him during this Easter season and beyond.

Today, on this feast of the Divine Mercy, we celebrate yet another blessing which the Lord has showered upon our parish. I am very delighted to announce that effective today April 7, 2024, on this Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday, Bishop Dolan has assigned to our Parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Deacon Ramon Zamora to serve alongside our deacons Dave and Chris. I have known and worked with Deacon “Chito” as he is commonly known, and his wife “Bea” while I was still pastor at St. Andrew the Apostle, and I enjoyed every moment of it. They are people of great faith and deeply devoted to the Eucharist and the Divine Mercy. I am sure you will soon fall in love with them as soon as you come to know them. They will certainly be a great addition to our parish and school community. I will officially introduce them to our community this coming Sunday at all the Masses. In the meantime, here is a short introduction and information they wish to share with us about them:

Bea and I have become very accustomed to receiving wonderful surprises from God. From the time when we first met in California while serving in the Music Ministry, to our moving to Arizona many years later, and right up to the present day, we continue to find that God’s plans are always much better than ours. And there is so much more joy in our marriage and our life together because of it.

Even as we prayed about applying for the Permanent Diaconate many years ago, we knew that the best thing for us to do was to leave everything in God’s hands. We were definitely stepping out of our comfort zone, as we felt called, but not necessarily qualified. But we also knew that the Holy Spirit would close that door to us, if we were not meant to follow that path. Thankfully, the door remained open, and we became a Deacon couple in 2005 for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. That was certainly a very special grace and a tremendous blessing for us, but not because we accomplished anything on our own; God simply wanted to surprise us one more time, with that very special gift.

One of the more recent surprises came in 2018, when Bea and I began to discern that we were being called out once again. We were happy in California. We were close to our families and our jobs, and we were comfortable with the ministries that we were already serving in. And we really thought we would just stay there for the rest of our years. But God’s ways are not our ways. “See, I am doing something new!” God was saying to us. “Do you not perceive it?”

We have really only been in Arizona since 2019, and we don’t exactly know what God still has in store for us. But we are ready to say “yes” without hesitation. After many years of serving together, Bea and I already know that our Heavenly Father always knows best; and we are ready for God to continue surprising us, just as he always has. And so, here we are being called once again, to serve at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We are very excited to be a part of this great parish and look so very much forward to serving you.

Dear friends, join me now, in warmly welcoming Deacon Chito and Bea to our amazing parish. I love you!